My digital artefact is a project by me, Maddy Findlay, titled ‘Maddy Makes It’. Maddy Makes It is a YouTube channel with craft videos and travel vlogs, with an accompanying Instagram page @maddymakesit.
I developed this project because I have always enjoyed crafting and learning how to make different things, and as I have got older, I have spent less time doing these things. I thought this assignment would be a good opportunity to showcase my talents, learn new things, and inspire others to get crafty as well. I wanted to share videos of me doing a wide range of different creative things because I personally enjoy watching these types of videos, so I know there are audiences for this type of content. I initially wanted to be solely a craft channel, however I later decided to incorporate ‘vlogs’ so I had more content to share. I learnt that content curation is a growing area of online media, and when used effectively, can be useful (Wagner, A. 2017). However, I felt as though it would be a bit of a cop out to post photos other people took on my Instagram (for example) when the purpose of my digital artefact was to create and share my own work.
Some examples of channels I was inspired by include:
Based on conversations with friends face to face, and users online, people (mostly) enjoy creating things but feel as though they don’t have the time or resources to do so. I wanted my content to show audiences that you can make time for crafting, and I also wanted to inspire people to attend local workshops and studios. I believe it is incredibly valuable to gain new skills and supporting local businesses at the same time is a double win. Wollongong is bursting with creativity, with workshops being held in various different suburbs for various different types of craft, and I wanted to highlight this through my work.
My method was as follows:
- Research local workshops in the area
- Attend workshop and film what was made
- If not, make something at home and film what was made
- Edit footage on Adobe Premiere Pro
- Create thumbnails on Canva
- Upload to YouTube (and later Instagram Television aka IGTV)
- Share and promote my work across social media
I first created two videos – a flower press vlog from a workshop I attended with Lia Kim, and a digital art ‘paint with me’ video. These videos were well received and the feedback I got was very supportive, as shown in the graphics below. I was honestly overwhelmed by such positive responses by my peers, and this encouraged me to continue on with my project rather than breaking and re-making. The only re-making I did was expand my videos to Instagram Television as well as YouTube, and also post photos on Instagram more regularly. Not only did I receive feedback online, I also received feedback face to face. This subject has been interesting because you interact with other people’s projects without necessarily knowing who they are. For example, a girl in my BCM111 group project said “You’re Maddy Makes It?” when I told her what I was doing for my DA. Understandably, she hadn’t recognised me because my work focuses on what is in front of me rather than my face, and it was a nice surprise for her to see the artist behind the scenes.
I know if I hadn’t been severely ill for a month, I would have got around to creating more content like a pottery vlog, reacting to my old scrapbook video, embroidery and a basic crochet video. It was my intention to post something new every week however sometimes life happens, and the unpredictable occurrences happen, and we have to go with the flow and do the best we can.
My YouTube subscriber count has not increased greatly, and my Instagram following has had a slow but steady increase. I honestly think this is because most YouTube audiences don’t have an account or aren’t signed in while using the website/app. Generally, users are ALWAYS logged in on Instagram, meaning interacting with content is more accessible and less time-consuming.
I know if I posted more content and marketed it better than my reach would be higher, and my subscribers/followers would increase. As mentioned in my OP3 blog post, I was never concerned about followers – my main concern was creating enjoyable and high-quality content for people to watch. If only one audience member watched my videos and enjoyed it then that would be okay. If I had more time and energy to put towards this assignment, I would have joined Reddit to reach a whole new audience, I would have spent more time on social media interacting with other artsy pages in the hopes they would follow me back and interact with my content. I truly struggled when it came to marketing and sharing my work, as this is a completely new thing for me and as I had no prior experience, I did feel stuck at times. I learnt that there are optimal times to posting (Williams, H. 2019) and soon realised I was not posting at the ‘correct’ times, and not posting enough.
I was learning how to operate Adobe Premiere Pro as I was editing the videos, so this was a time-consuming task. A five-minute video could take up to 7 hours of editing, including filming time. I underestimated how lengthy this would be. Even if a short video is filmed (for example, my DIY coffee body scrub that took less than 2 minutes to make), it will take a minimum of half an hour to an hour to edit, if not more depending on what needs to be done/what the objective of the video outcome is. I think had I known how to use the programme before starting this project, a lot of time, sweat and *almost* tears would have been avoided.
What did I learn about my proposed social utility through my project?
I learnt that people do enjoy watching others make things! I received feedback from many audience members informing me they either wanted to try doing what I had done, or they had followed my video and successfully made something! I think it is easy to be caught up in the pursuit of perfectionism, and even though what I created isn’t perfect I am still so proud of the efforts I went to to create the final tangible pieces and the video reflecting the process. I enjoyed learning about glitch art and created my own glitch gif for Twitter, as the ‘imperfections’ in art are really what makes them unique and interesting (Wegert, T. 2017).
By Maddy Findlay.
Wagner, A. 2017. ‘How To Use Content Curation The Right Way’, Forbes, accessed 31 October 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/09/01/how-to-use-content-curation-the-right-way/#6745f80b63ec
Wegret, T. 2017. ‘Perfect Imperfection: How Glitch Art Influences Design’, Shutterstock, accessed 31 October 2019. https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/how-glitch-art-influences-design
Williams, H. 2029. ‘How Often Should You Post on Social Media?’, Meltwater, accessed 31 October 2019. https://www.meltwater.com/uk/blog/how-often-should-you-post-on-social-media/